My House is a Mansion is a spiritual and sexual coming of age story explores issues of personal and collective identity, mythical and mystical understandings of self, world and universe, gender, race and class. Amélia, the protagonist, embarks on a quest of self-discovery, travelling between continents in real and symbolic terms finding personal growth and enlightened awakening in the process. Marques' Comparative Literature background, her transcultural references, poetic lyrical prose, ecstatic visions, and profound philosophical investigations on what it means to be a woman (and a person) create an emotionally powerful journey of self-exploration.
“My House is a Mansion is a daring, poetic novel ‘in different tongues.’ The protagonist, Amélia, leaves her Portuguese village to travel the world and in each new place finds a lover and has wild, ecstatic dreams, full of bodily delights, bursting with feats of terrifying and awesome reproduction, and brimming with the disturbing proximities of primal desire and looming violence. But for Amélia, travel also carries with it the mighty nautical past of her Iberian homeland, where the pure desire to experience foreign lands is also smeared in the blood of empire like the mattress of her first lover’s bed. We have ‘to face many monsters, who not unlike Adamastor, were hiding under the water and trying to lure [us] to the bottom of their lives,’ but, in the end, we return home as we must, wet and exhausted but with a few more of the missing links connected.” — Carlo Matos, author of The Secret Correspondence of Loon & Fiasco
“My House is a Mansion is a moving portrayal of life which takes root in the intimate quests of Amélia, the protagonist, and is packed with insights that transcend time and space. Her travels intersect in ways that carry her through an emotional performance fusing themes of restlessness, moral stances, identity construction, memory, social and cultural positionings and the search for meaning. The complexity of this girl’s soul is explored with a rich and colorful imagination. In a beautifully crafted prose, Irene Marques’s novel keeps the reader enthralled with the superbly deft story of a girl of Portuguese descent.”— Professor Irene Maria F. Blayer, Brock University
“Chamo-me Lúcia. Lúcia Lucrécia. Do Carmo. Pereira. Dos Santos. Lúcia Lucrécia do Carmo Pereira dos Santos. Nome longo e de história. Como bica de água que leva ao Parque Mayer onde abundarão rosas de adro. Abertas à flor de Deus, ao pão dos famintos. À alma das borboletas. À passagem secreta do vento que leva e traz mensagens das mourarias e das sagas de amores violentos, roubados à sombra da noite e conquistados das mãos dos inimigos que nos invadiram a terra, durante séculos e séculos, anunciando outras preces e catedrais. Estou a fugir da minha história, mas nem tanto, é que sempre é preciso prelúdio para adoçar a fruta verde ou seca que vem depois, desvendada no meio da vida e contada com as metáforas que se pode. Que nos chegam em dias cansados e já tão distantes da ideia que tínhamos quando éramos novas e andantes na plena seiva da vida, caminhando com passos decididos porque a verdade seria encontrada no fundo da linha – depois da última passada.” --Do conto Lamento de uma mulher infértil